Five Ways to Clean Up Your Website for the New Year

Five Ways to Clean Up Your Website for the New Year

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As a child, I remember my mother being a bit frantic (sorry, Mom) on New Year’s Eve.  She would go through the house with her list of chores to accomplish before the clock ticked midnight. She wanted a fresh start for the year ahead.  Now that I am (ahem!) a bit older, I fully appreciate Mom’s drive. The New Year does represent a fresh start.

So, in honor of my Mom’s resolve for a clean New Year, I now encourage you to see what little things you can do to brighten your website, without doing a full redesign.

 

1. Metadata

Unless you have a governance plan in place for religiously checking and updating your metadata, you probably have done little, if anything, with your metadata since your site launched.  Now is a great time to do a quick check and refresh.  Drop in some keywords, create unique meta descriptions -- you get the idea. 

 

 

Edit your metadata in Titan CMS in the Search Engine Information section of the page properties.

 

For more quick metadata fixes and the rationales behind them, see Metadata: The Secret Sauce in SEO.

 

2. Clean Up Your File Pile

The File Pile is like that junk drawer you swear you’ll never have, but – like everyone else – you have. Maybe you have more than one.

Do go through your File Pile to spot duplicates, obsolete or otherwise useless files and to identify stuff you actually need.  Increased tree performance, better search results and consistent content standards make the effort totally worthwhile.  Jon Kuhl, Chief Programmer and Software Architect of Titan CMS, did a great job writing the How To Analyze and Clean Up Your File Pile. So you have no excuse to continue to ignore this little task.

 

3. Smart Search

Nothing frustrates end users more than not finding what they seek at your site. What to do? Call in a superhero: Smart Search.  Available for Titan CMS v6.8 and higher, Smart Search allows you to manipulate how end users receive search results.  Add Smart Search to your monthly monitoring, too.  Sometimes, you will need to make adjustments. Sometimes, you’ll be spot on.  Either way, you’ll want to know.

 

 

Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for by creating cards for your most-searched pages.

 

Check out 5 Tips and Tricks for Making Internal Searches On Your Titan CMS Site As Smart As Google Searches to help you get started.

 

4. Find your Broken Links

As content changes, links break.  Maybe you linked outside of your website, and that resource has moved or, worse, ceased to exist.  A small typo can create a broken link, too.  You can run tools to find the errors, and then you are in the driver’s seat to clean them up.  Fixing broken links will raise your search rankings and reduce the number of 404 errors your users encounter.

 

5. Refresh Your Static Content (or at least review it)

Writing great content that causes an end user to take action is hard.  Really hard.  It takes time and effort. When you finally have created great content, keep it fresh. Review, revise and update to keep users happy and search engines happy, too.  Your analytics can tell you where your end users are going and what content matters most to them. Use that information to prioritize your effort.

 

Don’t wait until next December 31 to act on these tips a second time. Incorporate them into your routine, whether that is daily, semiannually or somewhere in between. Make Mom proud. With your chores done, she might let you go to that New Year’s Eve party.

Originally Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
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